MP Govt’s scheme for cows hits ‘vet’ roadblock

BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh government’s ambitious ‘doorstep’ healthcare scheme for cows has hit a roadblock as veterinary doctors are not keen on visiting far-flung areas, especially during odd hours.
However, in a bid to ensure that things go as planned, the government is now mulling to provide cars to doctors. The state government had earlier decided to launch the service in the entire state by August 15, but as the situation stands today, it may miss the deadline.
The decision to launch the scheme was taken after cows in MP started getting Aadhar cards, a first in the country. Officials in the animal husbandry department said they had also proposed travel and dearness allowance for doctors deputed in the districts.

However, the finance department raised objection to the proposal after which the government is mulling to provide cars to veterinary doctors so that they can move whenever required and provide services at the doorstep. It would also ensure safety of women staffers. Officials said the facility of providing cars can be outsourced.

The department had also set up a cattle call centre, where people from rural areas can get the services of vet on call, besides developing a mobile app. The pilot project was launched in two blocks each of Raisen and Dewas districts on February 5, and was to be extended to the entire state. According to the set procedure, the call centre alerts a veterinarian, assistant vet, field officer or para-vet, who must attend to the animal within the timeframe and file an online report. MP has the highest cattle population (about 2.77 lakh) in the country.
Nodal officers of the districts were given training in Bhopal and they were taught about software, app, call centre and other related issues. The state government’s annual expenditure of around Rs 40 crore for treatment of animals is likely to be hiked to meet the costs of the 24×7 healthcare facility, officials said.
When launched, it would be the first-of-its-kind facility in the country where 4 crore livestock will get treatment free of cost at their doorstep in a time-bound manner, director of animal husbandry Rajendra Kumar Rokade had claimed in February.
However, the officials are hopeful that they would start the service in the entire state in about a month. Priyakant Pathak, additional deputy director of animal husbandry directorate, said the service would be started soon in all districts. The plan is being worked out and will be implemented around the initially set deadline of August 15, he added.